October 2014 ‘Thank you Mr. Ingham‘ – a book for Terry from all of us We asked for your contributions and love and gratitude towards Terry poured back. Not just from those we originally asked, but from ever widening circles of people wishing to honour this man. We ran around trying to catch each drop whilst behind us Karl at ideasofthemind in Bath and Rasada in ecl Johannesburg quietly worked their magic transforming every contribution into a work of art that we could share. The book is dedicated to everyone and everything that resourced this extraordinary man. In one story in this book you can read his answer to that very question: what supports you? ‘Family, Meditation and Manchester United’ being his instant reply. So to his wife Sue, his children Matt, Lily and Aidan and their loved ones, Sean and Sam, his beloved grand-children, Esme and Charlie, to his mum and his siblings (and with a mischievous smile) to Meditation and Manchester United – we dedicate this book. It has been the container for an outpouring of love and appreciation. We hope that it becomes a living book, that it remains a book at the heart of the foundation, that we can add to, dip into and resource ourselves with. Click here to read the book
October 2014 – ‘You’re one of us’
Sandi Hager ecl Associate in South Africa has signed the contract for world publication rights for the English Version of Marianne Franke Gricksch’s, “You are one of us” with a page dedicated to ecl.
‘You’re one of us’ was written be Marianne Franke Gricksch over a decade ago, yet it as fresh and relevant to everyone, everywhere in education as it was then. It opens with the words of the poet Rilke, “If you live the question, perhaps you’ll gradually without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer some distant day.” I truly hope that the ecl foundation is becoming one of those living answers. The foundation is being set up as an international research and innovation charity dedicated to transforming the education and care of children and young people. Our research and practice over the past decade, building on the work of Marianne shows that it is possible to provide environments in which children and young people flourish, where emotional well-being, creativity and learning is attended to. And when this happens, joy in learning returns and children and young people gain access to their fullest human potential – a creative intelligence that is grounded in a love of life and a deep sense of belonging to the community of life.
To order a copy, please contact Sandi.
September 2014 – Peer mentoring
The work of the foundation with the Ruth First Trust scholarships students coming from the townships of Johannesburg to attend Jeppe High School was a great success. Video footage and a full report is being compiled by the South African team contact Janet or Raymond.
September 2014 – Terry
Our Founder and trustee, Terry Ingham moves into a hospice. There are no words to describe the impact that this man has had on the foundation, his generosity, the magic of relationship with him. Even in the hospice he was enquiring with Jane Reed into the ontology – the DNA of ecl, “The key that unlocks the door, that brings it alive is embodied knowing. The doorway is phenomenology”. And in typical Terry fashion saying, “Oh I am so enjoying this conversation!” We ask everyone to hold him and his family in your prayers.
September 2014 – an ecl classroom at Netherfield
The foundation submitted its first big proposal to the Smurfit Kappa Foundation. The request is for funding to support the building of an ecl classroom to be attached to the nurture center at Netherfield primary (scheduled opening January 2015). It is also to fund the development of a Fieldbook that brings together ecl practice with the outstanding Netherfield nurture practice.
August 2014 – Basecamp mushrooms
After months of patient enquiry, encouragement and shear dogged determination from Mia the entire ecl community decided that ‘Yes it was going to use basecamp’. Since then the number of active users, the material uploaded, the quality of the sharing of ideas and the shear playfulness has increased exponentially. Rasada our ICT expert in Johannesburg is now stepping in to take over the coordination, allowing Mia to breathe a sigh of relief.
August 2014 – The Two Tunnels Challenge
On 30th August our amazing Trustee Matt Ingham and colleagues from the Immigration Group at London law firm Mischon de Reya rode the bicycle challenge, the ‘Two Tunnels Cycle Route’ and raised some £16,000 for the foundation! We are most grateful. Matt and the team wanted to raise funds for the foundation’s work with vulnerable children and their communities in Namibia, South Africa and Northern Ireland. https://www.justgiving.com/Mishcon-Immigration-Group1
July 2014 – Just Giving!
After weeks of training, on Saturday 2nd August Sam Claydon and five of his friends, Catherine Fischl, Amy Maher, Alan Thomson, Charlie Bosworth and Stephen Feeney participated in the Virgin Active London Triathlon. The course involved 1.5km swimming, 40km cycling and then running 10km. The teams completed the course in a healthy 3 hours. For ecl their endeavours represent a special milestone. It is the first time we have raised money through public donation, which has been made possible by achieving charity status in June this year https://www.justgiving.com/Sam-Claydon. The funding raised will be used to help fund two ecl projects including providing extra support after school for vulnerable children at the Bernard Noordamp Centre, Katutura, Windhoek in Namibia. Here Rowena Mould is running a nurture group for 8 to 12 year olds who have difficult family circumstances, bringing more stability and motivation for learning into their lives. Rowena comments that after just a few months of working with the children, “…how much more articulate the kids are at expressing and dealing with their emotions. Their ‘physical expression’ is markedly less”. Thank you Sam and team – it means we can continue our work there for at least another six months.
June 2014 – The gathering from the 4 corners of the earth!
The inaugural ecl foundation gathering took place between Monday June 23rd and Thursday June 26th at the fantastic venue, Holt Farm, Dark Lane, Witham Friary in Somerset. We came together around a purpose that had emerged during the design conversations involving the foundation leadership: Fionnuala, Terry, Chris, Janet and Rowena. This purpose recognized that the ecl foundation as a Charity was now entering a new phase with new people joining, others leaving, practice being refreshed, a new leadership forming, all set against the background of the imminent loss of a key founder and trustee, Terry and the grief and sadness that was to come. The overarching purpose spoke to this: to create a space to allow the forming of the worldwide ecl foundation community.
Participants (young and old) came from the 4 corners of the globe: Africa and Asia, America and Europe, many arriving tired after overnight flights or anxiously sending sms’s en route from Heathrow, ‘Hi Fi, what is the situation with sleeping arrangements, are we all sharing accommodation?!’ Amazingly and with much good will it all worked out.
We were blessed to have the doyen of systemic practice in education with us as our teacher, Marianne Franke Gricksch.
For a full report contact Mia or check out the basecamp site – for many more photos.
June 2014 – Sponsoring IONA
The IONA Stichting (foundation) http://www.iona.nl/ very generously agreed to support the travel costs of 3 people from South Africa to enable them to join the gathering at Bath. We are very grateful.
June 2014 – We are officially a Charity!
In June we received confirmation from the UK Charity Commissioners that we have charity status and have been assigned a number – 1157259. It has been a rigorous process and we are delighted that it has been successful. It would not have been possible without the support and guidance of Matt Ingham trustee and the firm of Mishcon de Reya who allowed him to work for us pro bono. A very big thank you.
May/June 2014 – Scenario Forum International Conference: Performative teaching, learning, and research University College Cork
At the end of May Mia Perry the foundation’s research director presented a paper on ‘Embodied Methodologies’ (based on the introductory chapter of a book she is currently co-editing with her colleague Carmen Medina at the University of Indiana).
After an exercise to raise awareness of the body’s impact on experience, she introduced the various paradigms that attend to the body in research in different ways (e.g. phenomenology, semiotics, social theory, post-structuralism, etc.) and pointed to the lack of resources that could move theory into practice in research and in teaching. They were holding the question: How do we do embodied research and how do we do embodied teaching? She gave an example of the methodology that Carmen and Mia have developed in their work.
The reception of the paper and the nature of the conversations that were sparked afterwards confirmed a few things. Firstly, academics in the fields of language education and the arts share the deep concern for the disembodied way we still carry out most of our work as teachers and researchers. And secondly, they don’t know how to change. Questions and comments almost all consisted of either distressing anecdotes of schools that attempt to override the body (e.g., a school with a policy that only allows children to use the toilets during break times) or questions as to how we might engage in this work in practice (i.e., “I agree, but what can I do about it? How do I teach differently?”)
Overall the conference experience confirmed her continued assertion that this type of holistic work is much needed, sought after, and still quite rare in practical application in the field of educational research and teacher training and practice.
May 2014 – Scenario Forum International Conference: Performative teaching, learning, and research University College Cork, May/June 2014
ecl Catalyst, Orla Hasson, and ecl Research Director, Mia Perry attended a conference in Cork, Ireland, offering a workshop experience in holistic working. Not having worked together for some time, they used the session as a forum to bring their two practices together, in part as an experiment, but also because they felt that their respective bodies of work easily lent themselves to the objectives of the conference.
They facilitated a workshop titled: Every student’s a country: Teaching the whole child. It was attended by about 20 people (graduate students all the way through to seasoned professors) in the field of language education and the arts.
The workshop seemed to be a real success. Participants entered into the work willingly and were curious about and engaged with the systemic approach that was newly introduced to them through the facilitated exercises. Many agreed that taking the time at the beginning of the session for a short guided meditation/relaxation was a significant, unexpected and positive experience. Many language teachers also shared a great deal of interest in how the approach afforded ‘second language learners’ easy access to learning as a group. They could see that their first languages can be incorporated and honoured, and participants’ home countries, cultures, background and feelings can be brought into the learning space.
Johannesburg – equip workshop scheduled for mentors of Ruth First Trust. More than 60 teenagers and adults are scheduled to attend. Chris Charles from ecl UK is leading, supported by Janet Goldblatt from ecl South Africa.
London – The ecl foundation has applied for Charity Status with the UK Charity Commissioners!
With fantastic support from the entire community and with particular thanks to our ‘fresh eyes’ and our web-designers – ideasofthemind – the new ecl website is up and running.
ecl South Africa have run a two day workshop in Johannesburg for educationalists and parents. It was led by the systemic practitioner Marianne Franke-Gricksch, who has pioneered the approach in schools and families in her home country of Germany and internationally. In the words of Janet Goldblatt (Hub Director), ‘It was an exceptionally inspiring workshop. We had an opportunity to work with some ecl tools and all the teachers said that they would try and implement some of the systemic practice into their classrooms. One of the teachers told me she will at least look at her kids now on a different way, through the eyes of their parents. Beautiful. Most of the teachers and Social Workers are interested in further training. It feels like the ecl community is expanding in Africa’
Our new hub in Asia is opening with Adele Marianetti-Lim as its Director. Adele is a member of the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council) and her specialism is coaching using a systemic perspective. A key role for her will be to introduce creAte coaching to schools and non-profit organisations. She is also working with Rowena Mould (ecl Namibia) and Orla Hasson (ecl UK) to develop the Opening Space for Inspiration programme for teenagers making their transition to adult life, as well as Breathing Space Parent Circles that support the development of strong family relationships. Speaking about the recent workshop in South Africa, Adele said, ‘I’m here feeling secretly proud and much inspired’. We are thrilled to welcome her to the team.
Chris Charles (ecl UK) and Terry Ingham (Chairman of the Board of Trustees) are working on the third phase of the ‘equip’ peer mentoring and learning initiative. They are evaluating the recent work at Ralph Allen School in Bath that focused on how peer mentoring could help 10 & 11 year olds better make the transition from Primary school to Secondary. Over the past two years, as part of the Dutch funded RAAK research programme, Chris has led the project developing a range of ideas for working with Year 8 (12/13 year olds) and Year 9 (13/14 year olds) students to enhance their capacities for more independent learning.
ecl Namibia hosted a successful two day workshop attended by parents, care-givers, life-skill teachers and many working in the somatic field. Led by Rasada Goldblatt of ecl South Africa, and hosted by Rowena Mould in Windhoek, the focus was embodiment – or more specifically getting out of our minds to explore possibilities in our bodies for enhancing our wellbeing, creativity and learning.
ecl foundation trustee, Sharon Gray was awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’ at the Annual Pride of Britain Awards (pictured with UK Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street). The pupils at her school Netherfield spoke of their pride and excitement with Year Five pupil Max Armstrong saying: “Ms. Gray has done so much for our school and developed it in so many ways. We are so proud of her!” But Sharon says, “This award is a reflection of the work of our whole community, not just my work.”
Four members of the ecl South Africa team in partnership with the MCI Group designed and facilitated this week’s South African Principals’ Association conference – ‘Education on track’. Held on 8 & 9th October, it was attended by almost 800 participants from all over South Africa creating a space for them to look at some of the most pressing issues they face as educational leaders. With sessions such as ‘What keeps you awake at night?; ‘What skills do you need to lead in today’s climate?’ and ‘What do we need to do next?’ delegates were able to develop a shared understanding of some of the major issues they were facing and begin to open up fresh ideas about what is possible.
Netherfield primary school is judged by Ofsted as outstanding. Netherfield’s principal Sharon Gray (ecl foundation trustee) is probably the UK’s leading educational practitioner in the use of the ecl philosophy and systemic approaches. ‘It is our absolute foundation’ she says and is enabling a level of creativity not only in the school itself but also in the wider community. A UK government IQ initiatives report (2013) states, “there is tangible evidence that through its systemic approach, with and through parents and the community, that the community itself is being transformed in a positive way”.